For dog owners, the idea of losing your best pal in the world to dog theft just doesn’t bear thinking about. With 2020 seeing an increase in reports of dogs being stolen, it’s natural for dog owners to be worried.
Putting precautions in place to prevent dog theft, as well as knowing what to do if it does happen, is the best way to keep you and your pup protected. Here are a few tips and ideas to deter dog thieves:
Dog Theft Prevention
Look out for dog theft signs such as strange markings around your property, strangers asking you about your dog, or people snooping around your property.
Ensure your dog is microchipped
Microchipping is a legal requirement for puppies by the age of eight weeks in the UK, and it’s important to keep your contact details and address up to date, especially if you’ve recently moved house or changed telephone numbers.
Make sure your dog has a collar and ID tag
Another legal requirement for public spaces, your dog should always have a collar and an ID tag, with your name, address and phone number. Refrain from putting your dog’s name on the tag, as this could make it easier for thieves to get your dog’s attention.
Secure your garden and outdoor space
Any garden that a dog uses should be secure anyway, but double-check fences/gates and any kennels to ensure that all locks are in working order. CCTV can also help to deter thieves and can provide video evidence if the worst happens.
Use a Piddle Patch for peace of mind
Piddle Patch is a soil-free, real grass dog toilet that can give owners peace of mind. It can be used as an indoor dog toilet or as a balcony dog toilet, so you can keep your dog in sight and let them go potty whenever they need to.
If you don’t have a secure garden or are sharing a green space, Piddle Patch can be your dog’s own favoured potty place, safe from prying eyes and unsavoury characters. It’s a brilliant puppy pad alternative for those who want to ensure a safe, yet natural, toilet space for their dog.
Vary the times and routes of your walks
Thieves might track your movements, so switching up the time you walk your dog and the routes you take can be a dog theft deterrent.
Never leave your dog outside a shop
Even if you know the neighbourhood well, a dog left alone outside of a shop is a tempting opportunity for thieves.
Never leave your dog alone, unsupervised
Thieves can strike within a matter of minutes, so never leave your dog out of sight in a garden, green space or car.
What to do if your dog has been stolen
If you believe your pup has been stolen, you need to act fast. Call 999 and insist that the police record it as a theft, and not a lost animal. Get in touch with the microchip database, along with your local council’s dog warden and vets in the area. Begin searching your local area, putting up posters with a clear photograph and your contact details, and utilising the reach of social media to spread the news far and wide.
Having a pet stolen is heartbreaking, traumatic and life-changing, so you can never be too careful when it comes to keeping your pet safe.